art journal page
Slowly, and not always surely,
I am finding my way back to what I want to do
...by simply doing it.
I picked up this leaf awhile ago and brought it home. I set it on my studio table, where I could see it in passing and enjoy it in its fragile beauty. And think about it. And maybe do something with it...
I opened my art journal, with its few still-blank pages left. I've been flipping through the pages lately, rediscovering...something. Thinking how I might do some things differently now. My tastes have changed a bit. One day I tentatively started laying down some gesso on a clean white page; I textured it a bit with a big cardboard tube. Later I added some bits of paper: old book pages, scrapbook paper, tissue paper. A bit of scrim stuck down with acrylic medium.
Not much color yet. I still liked it white with touches of old-paper tan.
The leaf seemed to fit nicely within the circle. It seemed at home there. I loved the tilt of it on its stem - like a tree blowing in the wind. But it was curling and crumbling. I had visions of glueing it to the page, mercilessly flattening it...and possibly ruining it. Both the leaf and the page.
A few days more of just thinking about it all.
Meanwhile I let the leaf inspire me with its colors: rich rusty browns and golds, just beginning to fade. So I grabbed a few bottles of liquid acrylic paint: brown iron oxide, celery green, bleached sand, interference oxide green. I brushed on some light washes and rubbed them in/wiped them off, leaving just a hint of color. I painted a watery green onto a scrap of sequin waste and 'stamped' here and there with it.
Okay. It's time to 'fish or cut bait.' I decided to embed the leaf as best I could with matte acrylic gel medium. It's called faux encaustic. I've played around with this before, so I knew what to do: Daub some gel medium on the page and press the leaf into it. Uh-oh...the inevitable crumbs!! I liked them on the page, so I just brushed them away, painted some gel medium on the page and re-sprinkled the leaf bits and anchored them with more gel.
Now walk away and don't worry about it for awhile. After it dried I spread a bit more matte gel medium on top of the leaf, letting it get thick and waxy. And I gently brushed some more on top of the crumbs.
I think it needs some more random organic-ness. Some watery drips maybe: a spritz or two of Cinnamon-colored Glimmer Mist. Now I gotta leave it alone, or the water-based spritz will disappear. I could spray it with a matte sealer...but I think I'm done.
It needs a few words. Open an old book; look for a fragment of a sentence or verse that might speak to me. First page: I found it right away. (Either I was lucky this time or I'm learning to be less controlling.) I did want to have it sort of float on top of the page, so I attached it to a bit of cardboard and trimmed it up before I glued it down.
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